DOJ now involved in UST probe as IATF explores varsity training

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is now the latest player to be involved in UST’s “bubble” investigation following a Joint Administrative Order (JAO) group meeting on Friday, September 4.

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra, a member of the joint investigation, broke down the highlights of the meeting that include tapping the DOJ in the UST probe and getting the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow professional teams to share their practice methods for possible adoption to the amateur level.

The JAO group, composed of GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH), will submit their report to the DOJ by Monday.

UST, meanwhile, braces for possible sanctions from the UAAP as the league already sent its recommendation to the league’s Board of Trustees, which will decide on the fate of the Tigers after the team held a training camp in Sorsogon. 

The activity is a violation of the government’s health protocols amid the pandemic. (READ: UAAP withholds details of UST fate as Ayo resignation looms)

National University, whose women’s volleyball team is also being investigated, has been asked to submit a report to the JAO also by Monday. 

Meanwhile, pro leagues PBA, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, and the Philippines Football League (PFL) have been called for a GAB meeting regarding the adoption of their mid-pandemic training methods.

“We will sit down as a group with CHED and craft guidelines then present to them with pro leagues sharing best practices before amateurs can start,” Mitra said.

“I am confident that the pros would be willing to share what they are doing because after all, it's one industry and everyone is concerned with each other. If one accident happens, then the whole group is affected,” he added.

Currently, only pro teams are allowed to conduct practices under strict guidelines provided by the IATF, which is why a number of UAAP teams are currently being probed for possible violations. –